The countercyclical asset, a continuing series

by on October 4, 2008 at 7:19 am in Current Affairs | Permalink

Nicer than tasers:

Mr. Borg, past
president of the North American Securities Administrators Association,
adds that in past market downturns he saw people turn to chinchillas, worm farms and super-breeds of rabbits.
Emus, too, were big. "Eventually, people got tired of them and just let them go," he says. "To this day, you’ll be in West Texas and a big
emu running wild will just come up next to your car."

Here is the link and thanks to John De Palma for the pointer.  The National Alpaca Registry is doing well:

Peggy Parks, a 49-year-old auditor in Johnstown, Pa., turned to an
unusual farm animal. "I’ve lost a fortune in stocks, and my 401(k) is
falling through the floor. I feel comfortable in alpacas," she says.
She invested $56,000 in a small herd that she believes has a better
outlook than most mutual funds because of the animals’ breeding
potential.

Alpaca

Anonymous October 4, 2008 at 7:58 am

Next up, feral alpacas!

Anonymous October 4, 2008 at 8:05 am

Nicer than tasers:

Except you don’t have to feed a taser.

Melpomene October 4, 2008 at 8:55 am

Gorgeous animals.

Anonymous October 4, 2008 at 9:08 am

Welcome to the next bubble.

Yan Li October 4, 2008 at 10:26 am

wow, I’ve never thought that economic slowdown could trigger evolutional regression like this — urban dwellers are turning into nomads.

Affe October 4, 2008 at 10:49 am

“…their wool is not very desirable for clothes”

Ahem… do tell.

Danny Toone October 4, 2008 at 11:41 am

I have actually looked quite seriously into alpaca breeding as an investment. As of right now, it looks like an amazing investment. But it also exhibits a lot of symptoms of economic bubbles. Right now, the cost to buy a new alpaca that is breeder worthy outstrips the value of its wool multiple times over. The wool is fairly valuable, but the rising prices of the animals I believe will eventually lead to overbreeding, a significant decline in alpaca wool prices, and a huge drop in the market.

Speaking from my own non-economist brain, when the price of an asset is the only redeeming quality of an asset, watch out. When an investment home could no longer find renters and provide rental income, we saw the housing market collapse. When people finally realized that buying EVERYTHING online was not in their future, the dotcom bubble burst. There will be a point where wool prices will drop so low that nobody will be able to recoup their investment without selling the asset, and alpacas will become pets…pets that happen to be more expensive than horses. And you can’t ride them.

dearieme October 4, 2008 at 2:30 pm

It’s claimed in Britain that you should keep a couple of alpacas, or llamas, with your flock of sheep, because they are good at chasing away foxes and dogs.

Affe October 4, 2008 at 4:24 pm

“Llamas also calm down goats, during those times that goats need calming.”

Kinky… I like it.

shawn October 4, 2008 at 6:06 pm

I owe Tyler $5 for the laugh I got off this sole alpaca picture. The comedy, however, is coupled with Napolean Dynamite, so maybe I owe them a bit too. Next time you’re on the 4th floor at Merc, Tyler, come down to 433m to collect your $5.

Thelonious_Nick October 6, 2008 at 12:37 pm

If you think things could go really, really wrong with the economy, there’s something to be said for assets that you can eat and wear.

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tina May 15, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I haven’t seen it before

anna May 15, 2009 at 8:23 pm

it is beautiful

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